"So tell me the story!" S said eagerly. "I just know there was kissing in a treehouse, and I want to hear all the details! From the time we left, how did you end up there? Sounds awesome!"
I grinned. "It was really awesome." It was a good story, but more than how it sounded cool, it had really been a genuinely great time. Once we were all sitting down with menus in hand, they had me tell the tale.
"So after you guys left, I had to take E and him home, and of course E is so close, so I dropped her off first..."
"Do you want to come in?"
I had just pulled into his driveway. I looked directly in his eyes, looking for some hint of smirk. None. We'd been coyly flirting all night, under the radar of all the outright flirting and jolly mischief that regularly goes on with our team during the food and drinks after kickball. It was only a matter of time before we'd confront the fact that he was obviously interested. Which is interesting to me.
"How about... I come in and we go to the treehouse?" I suggested. I'd wanted to see this treehouse since he'd mentioned it a couple weeks ago... two different levels, ocean view, it sounded like it was right up my alley. It was still an early night...and, this way, I wasn't actually "coming in the house to hang out." The treehouse was the purpose...not something else.
So inside we went. After some chatting with the roommates we went out to the backyard. It wasn't a treehouse like your dad made for you when you were a kid, with a straight ladder and walls or a fence around the platform, all safe and storybook-like. This was a twentysomething-plus treehouse. Less safe, more adventurous. Kinda tricky to climb up to the first level, quite a bit of careful foot placement and upper body strength was needed to get up from the ground. Then you had to climb skillfully around the thick branches upwards... until you got to the second level. It was a perch, high above the ground, with a perfect view out to the ocean. A long strand of little white lights wound carefully from branch to branch, illuminating the inside of the tree where we sat. It was perfect.
We talked and talked. About the funny, the serious, the random... we even debated. At one point he placed his hand over mine very deliberately, laced his fingers through, and pulled our hands towards himself. Later there was a break in the conversation. I leaned forward to see if I could see any constellations through the gaps in the leaves.
"So, how do you feel about kissing in a treehouse?" he broke our comfortable silence. I didn't look at him and kept peering upwards, but could feel a laugh trying to break through my lips. "Well, I don't want to fall out of here..." I stalled. The laugh escaped.
"Well I'm not going to lay you out over this branch!" he laughed too, pointing to the 5 inch diameter bit of tree coming out from under our platform. I laughed harder. When I stopped, I said finally, "I feel good about kissing in a treehouse."
And then we did.
Then a few days later, amidst too many people and too much noise, a kiss happened again.
Shortly afterwards he said this: "When I kiss you, I can see in your eyes beforehand that you are thinking 'What am I doing?' You really have to think about it first. It's so obvious. What's the deal?"
He was absolutely right. I didn't think I was so transparent. I was thinking that... I have been.
It's just cause there's so much else going on... so much unknown, so many people to consider, I don't know who or how much I want. It's not you... it's me.